Around 9 months ago, I got my first job line cooking at a fairly busy (400 covers on a Saturday night) chain restaurant. For the first 6 months, I loved it. Since then, there have started to be problems that are really bothering me, making me not enjoy the job. Among these problems are:
Unfair rotas: I'm pulling 30-35 hours, while others are pulling 45-50 hours. When I question why to see if its because there is a problem with my work, I'm told its 'just the way it is'
Unappreciative management: Two weeks ago, a guy went AWOL for all his shifts. I had holidays booked, but the head chef called me and asked if I could cover for him. I did it. The next week I look at the rota, and hey, the AWOL guy has 44 hours while I'm getting 31.
There isn't any discipline in the kitchen. Two Saturday nights in a row, the same person has thrown all the prep on section away. I've complained twice about it, and nothing happens. Again, 'thats just the way it is sometimes'
The promotion scale is messed up. They promote on term of service rather than quality.
They employ too many staff, meaning that when its a busy season, we don't pull enough hours to cover when its quiet and we don't get many. Noone ever gets let go of.
The senior management are awful. I came in on Sunday night, my section wasn't set, and when I said this + asked how many bookings we had, I was told that it's none of my business and to stop stressing out. This was while my sous chef was running around making a breaded chicken burger for himself, rather than running the shift. Then, with a CDP, service chef, and sous chef in the building, I was left to run 3 sections, as a commis chef. Again, 'stop stressing out' when I start complaining about me having all the responsibility and none of the perks.
I've been offered another job, by an ex-colleague who left the restaurant because of pretty much these reasons.
The thing is, that its another chain restaurant, and I'd much rather work not work in a chain.
But, I'm unsure that a good, independent restaurant will take me on because I'm fairly inexperienced. I am dedicated, and I want to learn. I'm willing to work for minimum wage, or less if they want me to (by way of getting paid for 1 hour and working 3 or whatever).
Am I overreacting to these problems, and they are just 'part of the trade', or are these actual problems that I'm right to be unhappy about? I wanted to stay at this job for atleast a year, to show some reliability on my resume, but I think that if I have to work for 3-4 more months in these conditions I might not want to work in the industry anymore.
I do have a meeting with my head chef tomorrow to try to sort some of this stuff out, but I'm not sure if he can.
As I see it, I have 3 options, and I'm torn between which is best. I either,
a) leave this job, and go work at the other job I've been offered.
b) stay here and just deal with it
c) stay here for now, while looking for work in an independent restaurant. Am I likely to get employed there with only 9 months experience? Restaurant owners, would you employ a 21 year old with 9 months experience to work?